12 May 2010
FAIRA CALLS FOR AJUDICATION ON RACIST LAWS
An Aboriginal anti-racism group calls upon the Australian Government to immediately refer the new Northern Territory intervention laws to the established international tribunal on racial discrimination.
The Brisbane-based Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action (FAIRA) warns the government that amendment laws that are being considered in the Senate today are just as racist as the original intervention laws and will only widen and compound Australia’s international reputation as a racist country.
FAIRA wants the government to review its position and choose either to re-introduce, without delay and without qualification, the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) or to first appear before the international Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in August 2010 and seek a ruling on the validity of the proposed new laws.
Les Malezer, chairperson of FAIRA, says this is the objective course and the only real way to demonstrate political sincerity to promote human rights and racial equality in Australia.
“We want the Australian Government to end the political attacks upon Aboriginal people and rely upon expert authorities to assess when racism is being committed,’ Les Malezer said.
‘The government should not try to convince the Australian public this makeover law will bring about equality and non-discrimination; that would be misrepresentation.
‘The Rudd Government must remember Labor’s anti-racism stand during the Howard years and should recall that Labor relied heavily upon CERD’s evaluations to evaluate and condemn the Howard Government’s anti-Aboriginal policies and laws,’ he said.
‘It is perfectly logical, reasonable and feasible that the Government immediately reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act and return to voluntary income-manage arrangements.’
Les Malezer said the Rudd Government is now balanced on the brink of its new commitment to human rights reform in Australia and historical political disregard for Aboriginal rights.
He said racism is not a just a dirty word, it is a cruel and punishing scourge worked in amongst the Australian population since colonisation.
Les Malezer said ‘it should be well understood it is the Aboriginal people who always suffer badly, ddeply and inter-generationally from racism, while the benefactors of racism thrive during the suffering.’
‘Prime Minister Rudd confessed as much in his apology speech given at the beginning of this term of government.’
‘What is Kevin Rudd saying now at the end of his first term?’
Les Malezer is out of contact and unable to make further comment. He is currently in flight from USA to Australia.